It's about time we came clean about the origins of this series.
Possibly the best film we've seen in years. Or maybe even decades. Although... I suppose we haven't known each other two full decades yet.
Annie smiles as the credits roll and snuggles into my chest. We've watched a lot of animated movies together but this one was special. This one felt a lot closer to home. Or maybe that's just me. Maybe Annie saw this as nothing more than a good movie for a rainy afternoon.
"Wow." she says after a long pause. "Not at all what I expected."
"You're telling me." I say with a chortle. "Would it be weird to say that Hiccup and Astrid remind me of your parents?"
"You thought so too?" Annie pulls away slightly so she can look into my eyes.
"Definitely." I nudge her and she giggles. "Your dad's sarcastic enough."
"And mom's a bit cutthroat, yeah." Annie continues. "I kind of prefer that story for how they ended up together."
"Yeah, really." I stretch my arms, trying to keep Annie comfortable but also trying to relieve my cramped muscles. Annie sits up to allow me to continue. "Wish we had a dragon though."
"You've got a dog."
"And he is toothless. But that's because he's old." Annie grins, more to herself than to me. "So... think we should recommend it?"
"Heck yeah." I say as we both get up off the couch. "Makes me want to watch the show. I wonder what kind of dragons they added to the universe. Almost seems like they've got a treasure trove of unused ideas."
"No kidding." Annie says. "I don't feel like ending our date." she adds with a small whine.
"We don't have to end it here." I grab the DVD out of the player. "We've got some time."
"True." she says thoughtfully. "I don't know, this is a little ridiculous but... I've got some mad creative energy going on."
I smile back at her, knowing that my dimples are fully visible. Sure enough, her breath catches for a moment. It doesn't matter how long we've been together, she always melts a little at my dimples. I love driving her crazy just by smiling.
"Uhh... yeah." she blushes a little. She knows I know she was staring. "Anyway, it's a stupid idea. I mean... yeah, it's really stupid."
"C'mon, try me." I gently reach down her arm to take her hand. She shivers a little. She loves it when I do that. "I won't laugh."
"Well the characters kind of remind me of everyone's parents. Except Cliff's. Or yours."
"So... what if we wrote a fic that's, you know... a fictionalized version of our lives. Like... if Hiccup and Astrid were my parents. Finn's too." she tugs at the bottom of her shirt a little.
"Hmm..." I muse. "I like it. I don't want to say goodbye to these characters just yet."
"Neither do I."
I take quick steps toward the nearest computer and log in. "So how do we want to start it?"
"You want to write it now?"
"You just said your creative juices were flowing." I say as I pull up a Word document. "Scared?"
"No!" Annie protests. "Okay, Mr. Creative, how about... well my parents have a lot of pregnancy anecdotes but I imagine that'd be awkward for you."
"Why would it be? It's natural. I'm not a kid, Annie." She gives me a withering look and I know exactly what she's thinking. "We'll get to it in like the 23rd story."
"Oh lord, don't even joke about that. I don't want to write 23 fanfictions." Annie pulls up a chair and sits next to me. "Okay, well we can come up with a story about how mom broke her arm, first off."
"Definitely falling off a dragon." I say as I start to type.
"This is weird." Annie leans forward and puts her chin in her palm. "Writing about my parents as fictional characters."
"We definitely have to add more angst. That's how we'll get more readers."
"We could have mom kidnapped." Annie suggests.
"I like that." I nod. "Maybe you should get kidnapped as a little kid and your parents freak out."
"Well hold on, isn't that going too far?" Annie puts up a hand and I stare at it, grinning mischievously. "No one would read that. You're reaching melodramatic levels."
"Nothing wrong with a bit of melodrama. Keeps us alive, doesn't it?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
I wink at her. "Sometimes life packs surprises."
"Well let's save the surprises for volume 23." Annie sticks her tongue out at me and I laugh. We can be so immature if we want to be.
"All right so volume one is the pregnancy. Volume two is the kidnapping. Maybe we can kill of Stoick and force Hiccup to be chief in volume three."
"Me likey." Annie leans forward and watches the words crawl across the screen as I think of them. "Very subtle, Erick. This is almost appropriate for a younger audience."
"Teen girls are the only people who would have the patience for this."
"Didn't know you were a teen girl."
"Ha. Ha." I nudge her and she laughs. "You're full of funny comments."
"Just write, Blondie." Annie says.
"Please don't add that nickname to the stories!"
"Aww, why not? We gotta sell the Ericanna somehow."
"Pretty sure it wasn't that nickname that put us together." I say through my teeth, attempting to concentrate and listen to her oh-so-funny comments.
"We should have pen names." she suggests.
"What pen names?"
"I don't know. Pen names. Like... what if we're a set of women in their 20s?"
"Oh come on, a guy couldn't write this?"
"A guy wouldn't be trusted with such delicate topics."
"You're living in 1950s stereotypes, young lady." I pretend to lecture her, poking a finger toward her face. She kisses it and winks at me. "I know what you mean though. Okay, I'll be... hmm..."
"I'll be Katie." Annie says. "I like that name."
"So I'm... I don't know, Ericka."
"No, that's way too obvious. They'll think Erick is some kind of gender swapped Mary Sue."
"Fine. Emily then."
"Em and Kate's magnificent fanfiction. We will be legendary."'
"More like we will be laughed off the site."
"Don't knock it until you've posted it. And keep tying!" Annie jerks her head toward the computer screen, where the words have stopped scrolling across the screen.
I start to type again.
This is a really ridiculous idea.
No one would ever read this.
But if it makes Annie happy, I'm game.
Happy April Fool's Day!